Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves Michael Flynn and a Court ruling on his criminal case.
According to Washington Post; U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan cannot scrutinize the Justice Department’s decision to drop its long running prosecution of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and must dismiss the case, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The court said it is not within the judge’s power to prolong the prosecution or examine the government’s motives for its reversal in the politically charged case. Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his pre inauguration contacts with Russia’s ambassador before the Justice Department moved in May to dismiss the charges. The decision was 2 to 1.
The ruling from a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which can be reviewed by the full court, means that Sullivan cannot hold a hearing set for July 16 to formally hear the government’s request to dismiss Flynn’s case.
Sullivan refused to immediately sign off on the Justice Department’s plans and instead appointed a former federal judge, John Gleeson, to argue against the government’s position and help him decide how to proceed. Gleeson, a former New York judge and mob prosecutor, characterized the government’s move as a “gross abuse of prosecutorial power” and “highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the President.”
Lawyers for the retired three-star general accused Sullivan of bias. They said the judge was overstepping his authority and acting as a prosecutor in place of the Justice Department.
Michael Flynn was the highest ranking Trump adviser charged in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Before its reversal in May, the government had recommended a prison term of up to six months for Flynn.
Instead of moving to sentencing, Attorney General William P. Barr ordered a review of Flynn’s case. The review found that the FBI had no valid basis to question Flynn and, therefore, that any lies he told were irrelevant to any crime.
Reviewing the government’s actions, Sullivan also asked Gleeson to consider whether Flynn may have committed perjury while pleading guilty to a crime that he and the Justice Department now say is no longer a crime. Gleeson advised Sullivan in his initial report not to impose contempt of court penalties on Flynn but to continue to the sentencing phase of the case.
To understand this case here is the story.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and, in an sign for the White House, said he is cooperating in the ongoing probe of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.
Flynn was forced out of the White House in February, officials said he had misled the administration, including Vice President Pence, about his contacts with Kislyak. But court records and people familiar with the contacts indicated he was acting in consultation with senior Trump transition officials, including President Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, in his dealings with the diplomat.